Letter: First the Trauma, Then Support
To the Editor:
As many people may be aware, either from knowing my family or from the Valley News article "VFW Post Organizes Benefit for 10-Year-Old Vershire Girl Battling Cancer" (Oct. 9), we had a very difficult year but in some ways a very inspiring one. As I sit here writing this, the tears roll down my checks as I remember helplessness and overwhelming despair for how my brother and sister-in-law were going to take care of their two girls, spend countless hours in the hospital and maintain a home, car payments, grocery bills, etc. The weight of it felt suffocating; can you imagine what it felt like for Chip and Heather?
Turns out, I was not the only one to think of this. Of course, the family was very supportive and helped in so many ways, but the amount of support that came from outside the family was astounding — friends, friends of friends and complete strangers! The family has made it through almost a year of surgeries, chemo, radiation and too many hospital stays to count. Fortunately, Heather’s employer, Mascoma Savings Bank, did not expect her to choose between her family and job, and retained a position for her. Chip was able to work in a fashion that was flexible and kept the needs of the girls a priority. But biggest of all was the support.
The family has suffered the horrendous trauma of a sick child but they did not have to fight the horrors of losing a home or having the oil tank go empty. And when Courtney was feeling up to it, they even managed a few fun outings. I could spend pages listing the numerous and different ways people have shown their support, and I hope with all my heart that each one knows how thankful we are. At this point our darling Courtney is cancer-free and has nearly completed a very long and intense course of radiation and chemotherapies. Now we are just anxious for her little body to heal from all the treatments and feel better. As is the wretched way with cancer, there are rarely any definitives, but we will all pray that she stays cancer-free. If love and support can heal Courtney, then she has been healed a hundred times over. Thank you doesn’t quite cover it, but thank you so much to every single person who supported her.
White River Junction